Epicentro - Senza scuorno, senza paura - 1997


The range of styles that, inside the progressive is offered by Italian musicians is really admirable. It is certain that prog-rock coming from Italy is well known for its melodies and drama, blended with complex structures as an unequivocal stamp, like a brand name. But, as I tell you, the quantity of product that we receive from those lands, makes us find from time to time, works that surprise for their originality and that are really difficult to frame inside any style within prog music or sometimes even to be recognized as prog-rock. And this is what happens with these Epicentro. A band that comes from the south of the country and have a great sensibility for the tradition, the folklore, and that somehow, have wanted to show their concern for the loss of some values related with the popular culture, that are being devoured by a society corrupted by money and the chaos caused by excessive consumerism. Musicians with little money resources, but with an enviable talent and without any type of fear. Launched in kind of a free fall, without ties and with a mentality coming from improvisation and experimentation.


If we catch this main idea, value the elements that compose it, and later, transfer all this to a musical field that is not Folky, where can we place it? Of course, in prog. The band is composed by three musicians, Giacomo Ciavatta (guitar and bass), Carmine Vesuvio (drums and percussion) and Luigi Salerno (contrabass). The album is a conceptual work based on what I explained to you previously. They present us a main character, Pulcinella. A character that represents the culture and popular memory, and that is confined, isolated from a society that has it as something expired and totally out of fashion. Once free, Pulcinella transforms in kind of a "freak", submerged in a world that goes directly toward its destruction. And it is here where the history begins. A CD where the cacophonies coming from the atmosphere of the street noise mixes with the developments of Epicentro. Their influences? In truth it is not easy to find them, maybe some of the darkest Celeste, Il Baricentro, some Area.....

The pieces are very well structured and controlled in spite of being an album of high risk, it follows a very homogeneous line. "Punctum contra..." (1:59) is a beautiful introduction where the main character is a delicious contrabass. "Tammorriata" (3:48) is a second introduction where they already show their forcefulness, with some developments based on a guitar that gallops with different changes of intensity and the alternation of silences with a jazzy distortion. "Pullecenella'n' croce" (6:09) is a similar exercise to the previous one, but where melodies become more visible, sweetening the piece in many moments. "Menadi danzati" (7:13) shows with great intensity the power of the group. A composition that starts with an almost metallic section and that little by little calms down, to finish almost quietly. It is raw prog-rock, served with little garnish, a progressive attacked from its more naked side. "O vico" (8:15) doesn't stop to surprise, with elements that once again remembers the ideological content of the album. The voices of the town or of people are expressed in an angry way, as one of the things that surprises us and at the same time makes us confused. "Trupea 'e calore" (11:24) is the closes piece to the conventional progressive structure. Its length gives us the opportunity to enjoy moments of more relaxed melody with a brilliant bass, and others where the guitar tears down more varied parts of the song. "A resurrezione'e Pullecenella" (7:19) is one of the parts that makes us love more the group with an exquisite progression, of very leisurely and pleasant tones in the beginning, becoming for moments a flare of hard guitar."Senza scuorno, senza paura" (7:56) very distinctive, changing constantly of registrations, going into metallic rhythms, conventional rock, jazz, distortion and continuous experimentation. "...punctum" (1:59) as their name indicates is the finale to this disk, finishing as it began.



It is a record made with lot of courage, with lot of risk. A risk that I imagine, will be easily assumed by some musicians that without any type of contractual pressure, in a work that they did by themselves, can add all that they feel like adding and give us the chance to hear it if we want so. Although maybe it is for the prog-heads that look for works completely deviated from the formulas that we all know. For me it has been one a real surprise.

author - date - rating - label

Jordi Costa - October 2000 -   - Independent Release